Losing a writer you discovered early on always hits hard, and this is a bad one for me. Tanith Lee has died: http://www.tor.com/2015/05/26/tanith-lee-in-remembrance/
She had an utterly unique voice, and could write brilliant short stories and epic, multi-novel series with equal skill. Never met her in person but loved virtually everything she ever produced, particularly her breakthrough epic The Birthgrave
and the subtly dystopian Don't Bite the Sun
From the linked article:
Writers tell stories better, because they’ve had more practice, but everyone has a book in them. Yes, that old cliché. If you gave the most interesting (to the person who’s living it) life to a great writer, they could turn it into something wonderful. But all lives are important, all people are important, because everyone is a book. Some people just have easier access to it. We need the expressive arts, the ancient scribes, the storytellers, the priests. And that’s where I put myself: as a storyteller. Not necessarily a high priestess, but certainly the storyteller. And I would love to be the storyteller of the tribe!
Hail and farewell, Tanith Lee. You were the storyteller to a lot of tribes, including mine. You will be missed.